That's right, I spent the day kicking it with Bruce Wayne in the bat cave. Ok, not really, but that would have been really cool. Think of all the sweet toys. But I digress.
I actually spent my afternoon in my dorm room, which resembled a cave with the lights off and the blinds mostly drawn to help keep the room as cool as possible as I plugged away at the trainer again. I'm sure you're all pretty familiar with the set-up.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my roommate for being so accommodating, too. Though he likes to sleep in, which means I have to wait a little while, once he's up he is pretty understanding of my need to stink up the room for 2 hours and do battle with my alien-green spinning contraption (ie. trainer). Hell, he even provides me with my in-flight entertainment! Today's feature film: Platoon. It definitely got the job done. So thanks a lot man. I promise that as soon as the mercury rises again, I'll be out the door before you've even left REM. In the meantime, please continue to bear with me.
Anywho, today's workload was much more bearable than yesterday's, thanks to some good old-fashioned intervals. Though yesterday's easy 2 hours was by no means physically painful, it was sheer mental drudgery trying to slog my way through 120 minutes of left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot...
"Yes, drill sergeant!"
Today, thankfully, my 2 hours were nicely broken up into much more manageable segments of time. Sometimes I rode hard. Sometimes I rode really hard. Sometimes I rode easy. Sometimes I rode really easy. And, what do you know, the time sort of flew by. It's amazing what happens when you're only thinking about the next 5 minutes rather than the next 115.
Not that any of this is news to me, as I have done plenty of trainer rides before -- both totally boring and monotonous and broken up by interval -- so I know how to help pass the time; but some days intervals just aren't on the menu. Those are the difficult days when you just need to use every trick in the book to not look down at your cyclecomputer and see that its only been 1 minute and 46 seconds since you last checked how much longer you have to go. It's tempting, but you just have to resist.
In a way, riding the trainer offers a great lesson -- both for cycling and, well, life. In the end, of course, the big picture is all you can really see. All those little five-minute segments are just strokes of the brush on the canvas that is ultimately your season or your life. But if all you ever think about is the end result, what the puzzle is going to look like when you finally put in the last piece that you've been looking for and finally found under the sofa cushion, not only are you going to miss out on a lot of good things, but you're quickly going to be overwhelmed. It's just too difficult and too much to ask to keep your eye on the prize all the time. We all need some smaller incentives along the way to keep us on that yellow brick road to wherever it is we're going. The Emerald City may may be a pretty bright light at the end of the tunnel, but it's simply not always enough to get us all the way there.
So set that goal of beasting Battenkill, nailing Nationals, or fawoomping (yes I made that up) Fitchburg. But don't get too obsessed with it along the way. Keep it in mind, but don't let it blind you. Staring at the big picture all the time is just too much.